Skip to content

Cheltenham Festival: Fact To File soars to victory in Brown Advisory Novices' Chase

Fact To File provided Willie Mullins with yet another Grade One Cheltenham Festival triumph when staying on strongly to land the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase under Mark Walsh

Fact To File powering home in the Brown Advisory
Image: Fact To File powers clear under Mark Walsh

Fact To File powered clear impressively in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase on Wednesday to give Willie Mullins his 99th winner of the Festival.

It was a sixth win in the race for Mullins, who had previously struck with Florida Pearl (1998), Rule Supreme (2004), Cooldine (2009), Don Poli (2015) and Monkfish (2021).

Talked of as a serious Gold Cup horse of the future, the JP McManus-owned 8-13 favourite was given a patient ride by Mark Walsh through the early stages, before things tightened up, with the field almost inseparable over the third-last fence.

Around the bend, horses started to drop away, however, and nothing could go with the market leader - who was second in the Champion Bumper here last year - as he accelerated clear after the last.

Monty's Star (Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore) was three and three-quarter lengths back in second, with Giovinco third at 40-1 for Lucinda Russell.

Also See:

McManus said: "I was nervous and I thought he got a little warm and on his toes beforehand.

"I think Mark did a great job to get him settled and I think he will learn a lot from that race, I'm just relieved.

"It's all in front of him and when Willie decided to go straight chasing with him I had no objection, it sounded good to me. It has been vindicated."

"He travelled so well. This is a class horse and the right decision by JP to go chasing. Fingers crossed we've got a good one on our hands," said Walsh.

Get racing news on your phone
Get racing news on your phone

Never miss a story with all the latest racing news, interviews and features on your phone. Find out more

Mullins, who was taking his Cheltenham Festival career tally to a remarkable 99 winners, said: "That was very impressive, it was a Gold Cup performance potentially, but he's been like that since the day he came into the yard. I thought he'd win the Champion Bumper last year, then of course JP came and beat us with A Dream To Share, but that's how good I thought he was.

"The fact that he was a ready-made steeplechaser from the first day he came into the yard is why I skipped hurdling with him and I'm very happy we did that now. I think JP had a nice little wager for the staff earlier in the season on this fellow for this race, so he more or less made the decision.

"He's a beauty of a jumper and he gave Mark a tremendous ride, I'd say it was some thrill riding him round there. He's just a real gentleman of a horse, that's what he is.

"I've seen the potential. He's like a child's pony in the stable, he's got the temperament for it.

"You know the plan (for next season), he could start off in the John Durkan, then run at Christmas, then the Dublin Racing Festival and back here. That's the bones of the plan, but he has to stay right and JP might have other ideas, so I'll have to have a chat with him about that."

Fact To File scored the Brown Advisory to give Willie Mullins his 99th Cheltenham Festival victory
Image: Fact To File scored the Brown Advisory to give Willie Mullins his 99th Cheltenham Festival victory

Meanwhile, De Bromhead said of Monty's Star: "We're delighted, it was a really good performance.

"Obviously we wanted to win but the winner looks really good and has all year. I think we lost little in defeat.

"He's improving all the time, he's a really exciting horse for us.

"We'll target the Gold Cup and work our way back from there and hope for better weather.

"He's a big, raw horse, only seven and Rachael just thought on a bit better ground it would have helped his jumping, but he ran his heart out. The winner is really good, but we're delighted with our horse."

Russell said of Giovinco: "I'm really pleased, he ran ever so well.

"There was a moment just coming down the hill I did begin to get excited, but he travelled beautifully and jumped really well.

Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter
Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter

See the latest horse racing news, interviews and features from Sky Sports Racing

"He's a fantastic horse and I'm really pleased."

His rider Stephen Mulqueen was equally thrilled with the run, saying: "It was massive and I'm in a fortunate place. Scu (Peter Scudamore, assistant trainer) told me to drop him out because he's been a bit keen, and going to two out I was getting excited.

"Lucinda put the red hood on him as he'd had the odd excuse and it definitely helped."

Around Sky